CC BY 4.0 · Glob Med Genet
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1731068
Original Article

Thromboses and Hemostasis Disorders Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019: The Possible Causal Role of Cross-Reactivity and Immunological Imprinting

1  Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


By examining the issue of the thromboses and hemostasis disorders associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) through the lens of cross-reactivity, it was found that 60 pentapeptides are shared by SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (gp) and human proteins that— when altered, mutated, deficient or, however, improperly functioning— cause vascular diseases, thromboembolic complications, venous thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, coagulopathies, and bleeding, inter alia. The peptide commonality has a relevant immunological potential as almost all of the shared sequences are present in experimentally validated SARS-CoV-2 spike gp-derived epitopes, thus supporting the possibility of cross-reactions between the viral gp and the thromboses-related human proteins. Moreover, many of the shared peptide sequences are also present in pathogens to which individuals have previously been exposed following natural infection or vaccinal routes, and of which the immune system has stored imprint. Such an immunological memory might rapidly trigger anamnestic secondary cross-reactive responses of extreme affinity and avidity, in this way explaining the thromboembolic adverse events that can associate with SARS-CoV-2 infection or active immunization.

Publication History

Publication Date:
26 June 2021 (online)

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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